Warrington coach Tony Smith admitted his side were far from their best as they moved to within two points of Super League leaders Wigan with a 26-12 away win over Bradford.
The Wolves led 26-0 when Ryan Atkins touched down early in the second half, but they took their foot off the gas in the final half hour as Bradford fought back strongly.
"We lacked intensity in the match but sometimes you can't be at your very, very best all the time," said Smith.
"I thought our opponents hung in there, tried really hard and were rewarded with a couple of late tries. Well done to them, they really showed their spirit.
"They've had a really tough day in terms of some late re-shuffling. They've showed a lot of guts and grit, which is terrific, so I'm happy enough we got through pretty much unscathed and had some hit outs for some people who haven't had some game time for a little while.
"It wasn't the most fluent of rugby league from either team, but unfortunately that's what we get sometimes."
Bradford were suffering their fifth consecutive defeat but boss Francis Cummins was pleased with their never-say-die attitude.
"We still worked hard in the first half, they had a great start and dominated all those repeat sets which makes it difficult," he said.
"It's probably defined our year so far; character and spirit. The personnel we didn't have out there, it was always going to be difficult, but I'm glad with the way we played in the second half.
"We opened them up. We showed some character and showed a little bit of flair. I'm glad they kept playing until the end."